Scott Barnes secures multiple podium finishes at Daytona to end 2021 season in style
Scott Barnes capped a phenomenal 2021 season in spectacular fashion competing at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona, Florida over the festive period.
The Bermudian achieved multiple podium finishes and poles at the Daytona KartWeek, held from December 28 to 30 at the iconic racetrack.
Barnes’s campaign peaked with victory in the 206 masters class that was contested on the sprint track.
He also placed second in the 206 masters and 125 shifter sprint class races competing on the road course respectively.
However, the 37-year-old’s campaign did not go without incident, as he narrowly escaped serious injury in a mishap and was forced to retire from a race due to mechanical breakdown.
“It’s been a crazy three days,” Barnes told The Royal Gazette.
“It started off bad but ended good with a win, two poles and two second place finishes, so overall not a bad week.
“It could’ve been better but could’ve been a lot worse. Any time you get a win at Daytona, I’ll definitely take that.”
Barnes’s campaign in Florida nearly ended before it really got started.
“(During) First practice on the first day someone ran me over and wrecked my hand and I had to go to the hospital,” he explained.
“Luckily nothing was broken, so I was able to bounce back and get to two poles at the end of the day and then turn that in to a win on the sprint track.
“I should have had two wins on the road racetrack. But drafting came into play and I got two seconds.”
The experienced driver suffered another setback when he was forced to retire from the stock shifter class race while in the thick of contention.
“Unfortunately I got a DNF in the stock shifter class after my shift lever broke running in second,” Barnes explained.
“But overall a win and two seconds is a great week, and we’ll take it.”
The Daytona International Speedway has proven to be happy hunting ground for the professional driver, who has now won four races and finished second three times at the world famous racetrack.
Barnes was accompanied in Florida by compatriots Brian Bulhoes, Marc Tucker and Brian Hall, who also competed in the same division.
“The three boys had a great week,” he said. “They finished all their races, gained a lot of experience so (I am) proud of them too. Definitely happy with the results.
“I’m proud of these boys, they put in hard work and for their first race at Daytona, they did well too. So big props to them for competing at in one of the top events for the year in the country,” Barnes said.
Barnes’s success in Daytona was a fitting way to end what was an outstanding 2021 season in which he achieved eight victories competing at various international events, also including the Florida Winter Tour, Pro Tour and Skusa SuperNationals.
“Overall, it’s been a great season,” Barnes said. “I did nine international events this year and strategically picked all the top events to go to.
“We did all the top level stuff and to come away with eight wins, seven seconds and six top fives was a great a year.
“Overall, I’m happy with the season. Any time I came come out here and compete with the best of the best, I’m happy with that.”
Barnes had additional incentive to put his best foot forward.
“I had a goal in mind this year,” he added. “I was really pushing for the government award’s Male Athlete of the Year nomination.
“That was my goal this year and kind of the reason we did so many international events and picked all the top stuff.
“I think my resume’ that we put in for the year definitely would be a winning resume’ for that award, but we’ll see how it goes.”